The flags at the Daylesford Town Hall, the War Memorial and the RSL are flying at half mast in mourning for the death of the Queen.

Queen Elizabeth died at Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands earlier today. She was 96 and had been Monarch for more than 70 years – the longest living and serving monarch in British history. She was immediately succeeded by King Charles III.

Charles automatically became King on Elizabeth’s death. He thereby became King of Australia as well. He will make the accession declaration and it is likely there will be a coronation ceremony over the next few months.

Elizabeth came to the throne while on a royal tour in Kenya when her father George VI died in 1952. During the intervening 70 years Australia went from very much part of the British Empire to a much more independent nation determining its own policy priorities.

Her long period as Queen has been well regarded and the Australian community has great affection for her.

There will now be period of mourning. The Australian parliament has been suspended as a mark of respect until after the she is buried at Westminster Abbey in the next two weeks.